Efrat Katz, 68, was murdered as Hamas terrorists kidnapped her from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.
Her daughter, Doron Katz-Asher, and her two granddaughters, Raz and Aviv, were kidnapped by Hamas that day and released on November 24. Her partner, Gadi Mozes was also kidnapped and is believed to still be held hostage. Doron’s half-brother, Ravid Katz, was killed on October 7 and his body taken hostage.
Efrat was originally kidnapped with them, seen in video on the back of a truck with her daughter and granddaughters being taken by Hamas from the kibbutz, but at some point she was killed in the crossfire and the terrorists dumped her body, which was later recovered.
She was buried on October 25 in Kibbutz Revadim. She is also survived by another daughter, Leeor Katz-Natanzon, and two additional grandchildren, Sahar and Ziv.
Her childhood friend, columnist Benny Avni, recalled in The New York Sun being in the same class as Efrat: “Our age group was named Shahaf, or Seagull. Efrat was a kind, gentle girl and, unlike some of us, I can’t remember her ever picking a fight with any classmate.”
A eulogy posted by the kibbutz noted that Efrat hailed from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Menahem, and that in the year before her death both her mother and sister died, but she found comfort amid the loss in her daughters and grandchildren.
“Efrat very much loved the fields of Nir Oz and Alumim and worked in pest control for many years,” the eulogy noted, adding that “the field with its colors and smells and plants were the substance of her life.” She also worked as a kibbutz secretary and in human resources “with thoroughness, commitment, order and organization.”
Her daughter, Leeor, wrote on Facebook that each morning she asks herself, “How can it be that the sun is shining and you are not here… Mom, how can I even say goodbye?”
She noted that she was always very close to her mother, finding it hard to part even during overnight school trips, “and even in recent years when you would travel to tour with Gadi, the longing would throb.”
She was “the ultimate, perfect, most indulgent grandmother,” Leeor wrote. “You always knew what they wanted before they opened their mouths. I can’t even imagine how we will live without you. You are their air to breathe — and they yours.”
“Not a day goes by that I can comprehend that you are not here with us,” she added. “Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you, a million times. Not a day goes by that I don’t scream until you can hear me that I love you.”
Marking 100 days since she was killed, Doron — who was not at her mother’s funeral — wrote on social media about the somber and challenging period since.
“100 days,” she wrote. “100 days ago is the last time I saw you, Mom. 100 days ago is the last time you hugged my girls, your granddaughters whom you loved more than anything and who you protected with your body.”
Doron continued that “100 days ago, I held you, in your final breaths, and I told you for the last time that I loved you. 100 days ago you left me, too early! It’s been 100 days that Raz and Avivi don’t stop talking about you and are just waiting for you to come through the door with a box of croissants.”